Same Sex Marriages in the Whitsundays

September 23, 2014 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Getting Started,Whitsunday Wedding Planning

same sex marriages in the Whitsundays


It takes just as much time to plan a commitment ceremony as it does a wedding. Below is a guide to planning gay and lesbian commitment ceremonies as well as useful links to the very best wedding suppliers in the Whitsundays who can help you create the perfect commitment ceremony in paradise.


“Love really does know no gender. It discriminates against no one. I don’t have gay friends and normal friends, I have friends. I don’t want gay marriage and straight marriage, I want marriage. For all of us. Now that’s what I call equal” Mia Freedman, Mum, Author, Sky News presenter
same sex marriages whitsundays


How To Plan a Commitment Ceremony
A typical commitment ceremony can take between 10-12 months to plan and below is a list of items that you will need to consider when planning a same sex marriage in the Whitsundays.


Type of Ceremony
In Australia same sex marriages are not yet legal, however a commitment ceremony is a time for you to publicly declare your partnership, and love for each other, before your family and friends in a dignified manner. A commitment ceremony is very similar to a traditional wedding ceremony with just a few subtle changes. Incorporated into the ceremony is music, readings, vows, and the exchange of rings, signing and presentation of certificates.


A typical ceremony and reception will take at least 5 hours, not including pictures taken in between the ceremony and reception. Take ample time to discuss your ceremony plans with your partner. Keep a notebook for important information and develop an itinerary of the ceremony day. Share this itinerary with your venues, DJ or band, celebrant and other people key to the success of the ceremony. Working with a wedding coordinator can help with the successful planning of a ceremony and reception itinerary and will ensure that you think of every aspect of your day. See below for our list of preferred coordinators.


Take time to carefully plan the budget for your ceremony. Take into account the number of guests, the venue, entertainment, photography, rings, suits, dress’, etc. An easy way to plan a commitment ceremony budget is to allot a certain amount for each major area of the ceremony. Here is a simple break down:

50% Reception
10% Flowers
10% Music
10% Photography
10% Suits / Dress’
5% Invitations
5% Miscellaneous


Wedding Vows
Your wedding vows can be as unique as you are or traditional depending on your preference.


Location and Venue
Of course, the location of your ceremony should be a special place for both you and your partner; however, consider choosing a central location for all of your guests. Also, make sure the venue of choice is gay-friendly. Call ahead to make sure the venue you choose is comfortable hosting a same-sex ceremony and that you are comfortable in the venue of choice. A number of Whitsunday wedding venues have experience hosting same sex weddings.


Number of Guests
Some couples choose to have small intimate ceremonies, while others have large events. Invite the number of guests that make you and your partner comfortable. Remember that the cost of the ceremony can rise depending on how many guests you invite.


You can purchase wedding invitations online and there is a growing trend for paperless invitations with many websites offering user friendly software which allows you to design your own email invites, build a website detailing the events of the celebration and manage your guest list.


same sex marriages whitsundays


Reception Halls & Caterers
Decide if you’d like a reception at a restaurant, a resort, a public venue or an exclusive wedding venue. No matter what you decide on, call the wedding venue and book it at least 10-12 months in advance. Be prepared to tell the event planner your desired booking date and time, how many guests you are expecting and what cuisine you’d like served (if they cater as well). Some places offer full packages (ceremony venue, reception, caterer, music and photographer) which can make the planning of your event much easier.


Entertainment and Photographer
The entertainment can sometimes be a sore spot when it comes to wedding and commitment ceremonies. Choose an entertainer with experience. Select a play list that tailors to both your tastes and the palate of your guests. Decide on a photographer with experience and be clear about what you expect. It helps to choose an entertainer and photographer that is comfortable in a gay atmosphere. Word of mouth recommendations are always best.


Limousine Services
Think about how you will arrive at the ceremony and to the reception. Check our transport page for a variety of transport options available for Whitsunday weddings.


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Rings and Jewelry
Traditionally, partners purchase each other engagement rings and then exchange commitment rings during the ceremony. These are physical expressions of your lasting love. You can rings, bracelets, necklaces or any other symbol of your commitment.


You and your partner have complete control over the atmosphere and formality of your ceremony. Agree on an attire that best fits your vision of the ceremony and make sure it is suitable for the tropical climate of the Whitsundays. For more information on seasonal weather in the Whitsundays visit our weather page.


same sex marriages whitsundays


Wedding Cake
Have you always dreamed of eating a multiple layer wedding cake or do you simple want a basic cake with you and your sweetheart’s names? Take ample time to discuss what type of cake you want and make sure your personalities are reflected in it’s design.


Floral arrangements take time to prepare and can sometimes be costly. Budget at least 10% on flowers. Contact your florist of choice for recommendations on seasonal arrangements, prices and time to delivery.


Having a wedding in the Whitsundays means you don’t have to go far for your honeymoon. Offering a diverse selection of accommodation and activity options you will be spoilt for choice honeymooning in the Whitsundays. With the Great Barrier Reef, world famous Whitehaven Beach and 74 tropical islands on our doorstep there is no shortage of romantic ventures for a newly wed couple.


Recommended Whitsunday Suppliers for your Same Sex Wedding

The following suppliers have experience in same sex marriages and commitment ceremonies and we proudly recommend their services.



Total Weddings

Amare Weddings and Events



Margaret Roberts

Jan Harvey



Villa Botanica

The Palm House


Want to know more about Whitsunday Weddings?

Read our helpful “how to” planning guide articles for ideas and inspiration.


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Booking Trials and Inspections

Booking Trials and Inspections with your Suppliers

Narrowing down and locking in all your suppliers is a monumental task, but now you have to decide upon your vision for the day. There are simple and fun ways to enjoy this part of the planning journey and one way to ensure you get exactly what you want is to consider booking trials and inspections with your suppliers.

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